Good Words: Memorializing Through a Eulogy by Beth L. Hewett, Ph. D. Indiana: Westbow Press, 2014. 207 pages. *****
Dr. Hewett has written a sensitive, insightful book into writing what has to be the most emotional tribute to someone we love: the eulogy. This book organizes the steps in the writing process by the most-to-least important details. Writing is only part of the process; advice for delivering the eulogy with confidence is also covered. Each chapter stands alone, however, I recommend you read it cover to cover. Some of the chapters include: "Praise in Difficult Relationships" "The Parts of the Eulogy" and "Choosing the Right Person to Deliver the Eulogy." Chapter 6 addresses the issue of children: writing a eulogy for a child and preparing children for the ceremony and speaking their grief.
Appendix A includes sample Eulogies, Appendix B provides Example Words and Poetry for Blessing and Honoring, and Appendix C compiles it all into a Eulogy Writing Guide. This Guide is a step-by-step, fill in the blanks guide. I highly recommend this book and the following ones from Dr. Hewett.
More Good Words: Practical Activities for Mourning by Beth L. Hewett, Ph. D. Indiana: Westbow Press, 2014. 188 pages. *****
More Good Words is written to encourage taking active control of grief through intentional actions and activities. "The activities are applicable to any loss, such as divorce, incarceration, etc." Drawing on her own experiences and those of her family, Hewett normalizes the feelings that emerge when we experience grief. We may experience anxiety because now life is different and others want us to move on. She provides activities for mourning with our emotions, spirits, bodies, minds and socially. Well-written, practical, yet sensitive to the needs of each individual. One size does not fit all in mourning.
Dr. Hewett has also written a series of booklets:
- Memorializing Through A Eulogy: Eulogies and Difficult Situations (Good Words) 978-1-56123-228-4. 5.95
- Memorializing Through A Eulogy: Eulogies and Religious Settings (Good Words) 978-1-56123-228-4. 5.95
- Memorializing Through A Eulogy: Eulogies For Children (Good Words) 978-1-56123-226-0. 5.95
- Memorializing Through A Eulogy: Eulogies With Childrens Voices (Good Words) 978-1-56123-227-7. 5.95
- Memorializing Through A Eulogy: Eulogy Writing & Delivering (Good Words) 978-1-56123-225-3. 5.95
- Memorializing Through A Eulogy: Nontraditional Eulogies (Good Words) 978-1-56123-223-9
- Grief In The Workplace (More Good Words) written with Dr. Richard Ottenstein 978-1-56123-240-6. 12.95
These booklets are inexpensive, yet, priceless. I once wrote a eulogy on a napkin in a bar the night before a funeral. I had written a very formal, stilted one for a family member and others hated it. We collectively rewrote it, hence the napkin. There is comfort in knowing that someone has written a guide to help during an extremely, emotional time in our lives. I highly recommend buying these books and reading them now before the need arises and then keeping them handy for when the time comes. Not one of us escapes the experience of grieving and mourning. (I thought the terms were synonymous before reading these books) Dr. Hewett has provided excellent guides to ease the burden and the importance of taking active control of grief. These books are such an excellent resource, they should be available in doctor's offices, hospice, counselor's offices, churches, etc. Well-done!
I received copies for review.
Dr. Beth L. Hewett is an experienced bereavement facilitator and counselor, facilitator trainer, author, public speaker, and writing instructor. Her specialty is mindful mourning with Bead Blessings, writing, and other activities. See More Good Words: Practical Activities for Mourning and her other books at www.goodwordsforgrieving.com and email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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